Monday, June 13, 2005

side projects (or why that paper isn't getting written)

I am running around like a crazy woman right now, going from project to project, fighting only the fires that are sparking and ignoring the smoldering embers for now. Why? Well, my excuse du jour was the rear-ender that happened to me on Thursday afternoon and the ensuing whiplash, car repair, insurance mess that has tied up much of the last several days. (Don't worry, I'm okay but my car's about to head to the shop for a week.) But there's a larger picture here, too, and it has to do with the alarming number of side projects that are taking over my life. Forget working on my dissertation research, and even forget playing in the sun, we're talking things that make me a better job candidate in the end, but at the moment are making that end look very distant. So what am I talking about?
  1. advising a senior thesis next year, (and since he's at field camp for 6 weeks that means I've got to make some arrangements for field and lab work for when he gets back)
  2. teaching my first college class second summer session (right now that means trying to finish the syllabus and lab manual and bone up on some of the material)
  3. team teaching a 2 week course for middle-school and high-school teachers (right now there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but it will be a good experience for me to be forced away from the lecture format right at the beginning of my teaching career)
  4. being co-PI on a grant that probably isn't going to be part of my thesis
  5. getting side tracked on a very interesting little problem that might make a nice tidy little paper someday in an obscure journal, but again, not part of my thesis
Can you tell I'm having fun?

1 comment:

volcano girl said...

Side projects are the best - when they are interesting, of course. They spice things up, teach you new skills, and make you a well-rounded scientist and educator. New relationships, field trips to exotic places, a continuous stream of potentially publishable projects....

But then, wasn't I supposed to have finished my PhD months ago? And oh yeah, I haven't really gotten any of my research published. Grrr. No job yet either. But I'm happy here, so what's the rush?